These are items of interest to military reunions including reunions that have already happened so others can learn from reunion experience. If you have military reunion news, a story or report about your military reunion or want to add yours to our list of upcoming reunions, e-mail us. If you are listing your reunion, send the reunion name, date, place and contact info. To add your reunion picture, see requirements.
USS Massachusetts sailors meet one more time
Sailors who served on USS Massachusetts during World War II reunited for the 69th consecutive year. Bernie Silveira remembers when 800 or more crew members packed banquet halls to reminisce. This year, 13 made the trip.
Silveira, who oversees the reunion, said he thought "with a heavy heart" about making the 69th reunion the last. "It's a lot of work," he said. Then he talked himself out of it.
He turned to fellow crew members for the unanimous decision. The 70th reunion (in 2015) — which coincides with the battleship's 50th anniversary in Fall River, Massachusetts —likely will be the final reunion.
Crew members, in their late 80s and early 90s, gathered on the deck of their warship to reflect with their families. They cast a wreath into the sea in memory of deceased crewmates. The ship's 5-inch guns fired 21 times, followed by the playing of Taps, God Bless America and Eternal Father, Strong to Save, also known as The Navy Hymn.
From a report by Phil Devitt in the Fall River Spirit, Fall River, Massachusetts
Eighty-seven shipmates and guests attended the 2013 USS/USCG Edisto reunion in Nashville, Tennessee. Reunion activities included a visit to historic RCA Studio B and Country Music Hall of Fame where the group toured the Music Hall and had lunch. Banquet night, the Edisto group was entertained by the Dave and Daphne Show. On the last day the group dined at the Santa Fe Cattle Company before visiting the Grand Ole Opry.
Their next reunion will be in 2015 in Washington, DC, and all Navy and Coast Guard Icebreaker groups are invited. Contact: Glenn D. Smith, PO Box 747, Mims, Florida 32754-0747; 321-269-5637. Or visit www.steadyeddy.org.
It's military reunion season
Perhaps more than any other town in America, Pensacola, Florida, is the touchstone of generations of Navy and Marine Corps personnel and their families.
Each reunion group has a personality all its own—hard to define, but known by the insiders who lived in that world. The first A6A jet entered service with VA-42, in Virginia Beach, Virginia, in March 1963. The “Intruder,” as it was nicknamed, had a crew of two: a pilot and a bombardier/navigator. The plane joined Navy/Marine squadrons aboard fleet carriers in 1964. The A6 provided the Navy and Marine Corps with all-weather strike capability for the first time.
In April 2014, Pensacola welcomed returning heroes of the A6 Intruder Association and their families.
The economic impact of military reunions in the Pensacola area may be difficult to measure but 850 individuals certainly make a difference! This reunion was one of the largest ever hosted by the Intruder Association. A dedicated, tenacious committee of former Intruder personnel were advisers for the gathering.
Those crews who flew the plane and those who cared for it come from all over America, and it may have been their first time back to Northwest Florida in decades. They returned with early memories of their primary aviation training in Pensacola.
From a viewpoint by Nancy Fetterman, a widow of a shipmate, in the Pensacola News Journal, Pensacola, Florida